Tag Archives: consignment shops


Children grow so quickly that there was always a market for their "gently worn" clothing.  Now more and more women are buying "vintage" clothing for themselves.  Photo by Cathy Sherman.

Children grow so quickly that there was always a market for their "gently worn" clothing. Now more and more women are buying "vintage" clothing for themselves. This is a Kansas City consignment store, which recently underwent a major renovation and expansion. Business is brisk!

Being frugal is cool these days.  I like the new name — frugalistas, people who are experts at finding frugal ways to enjoy life.  Becoming or remaining debt-free is one of their top goals. (See link below.)

I was born a coupon clipper and a recycler.  There’s a photo of me as an infant with a pair of scissors (blunt, of course) with the caption “Cathy’s first tool”.  OK, I’m just kidding about the photo….. (I did recycle the photo above from my post on consignment stores.)

Couponing and shopping at sales are two obvious ways to save, but only if you buy items or meals you need. (Yes, need is a vague term, which is why our houses are full of stuff we thought we “needed”. )   These days, the half-life of a coupon seems to be about ten days, so some of the joy is gone.  What happened to “No expiration date”?  Of course, companies don’t last that long any more, either.  Being a frugalista is much more than coupon clipping, though.  It’s an attitude. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy life. You don’t need as much as you think.  Sometimes, it’s a decision not to buy something or to find a different, cheaper way to do something you enjoy. 

  • Check out books and movies from the library.  Yes, it means you won’t have a clue about this year’s Academy Awards nominees, since you’ll still be catching up on last year’s.  But so what?  We haven’t rented dvds in years, but I have bought a few dvds that I want to keep. (More on those dvds in a later post, probably entitled “Shameless Promotion”.)
  • Walk in the park.  Kansas City has more than a two hundred miles of walking trails in stream-side parks with lots of access, so that’s easy for us.  You can be a bird-watcher, cheap entertainment.
  • I save the newspaper plastic sleeve and use it to clean out the cat box.  (There’s no way you can make this fun, sorry.)   Plastic grocery bags, if you’re still getting those, can line trash cans, but everyone knows that!
  • Consignment stores.  I’ve bought some great stuff there and sold some stuff, too.

    I'd be lost without my scissors. I have ten pairs, so a pair will always be near.

    I'd be lost without my scissors. I have ten pairs, so a pair will always be near.

  • Garage sales. Yeah, I know, it’s pain in posterior, if you conduct one yourself.  However, sometimes it’s the only way to clear out your house.  You can donate your stuff to charities, which is good, too, but a lot of that stuff gets dumped, unfortunately, because charities don’t have the resources to sort, display, store and distribute the zillions of tons of donated stuff.  When someone invests a dollar for an item in your garage sale, they might actually use it.   There’s also www.freecycle.org  Conversely, you can get some great stuff at garage sales. We’re working on putting together a garage sale right now, because our neighborhood and several others around us are having one May 1-2.  I’m going to try to enjoy it.
  • Eat at home, including making your own espresso and lattes.  I tried giving up coffee, mostly to avoid caffeine withdrawal in the morning, but I just couldn’t do it. I have a cheap machine, but I’m not picky about my foam, which is a good thing because the foamer is clogged. I order my coffee  in bricks by the case from www.cafebustelo.com  with free shipping in the U.S. on orders over $50. I order six months’ worth of ground coffee.  I’m not hung up on grinding it myself. I’m happy if it’s strong and full of caffeine.
  • Since recycling is the theme this week of Earth Day, I’m recycling another blog of a young frugalista from Kansas City who explains how she does it.  She also has other great frugalistas on her blogroll.  Carrie on the Cheap, a young frugalista.

I’m recycling this blog post of mine because I forgot to put tags on it the first time around, Coffee, the Miracle Drink. I’m sure it’s still steaming hot, ha, ha.

 “Austere Times? Perfect” — Article from the New York Times on Frugalistas.


Filed under Bird-watching, Books, Conservation, Drink, Entertainment, Environment, Food, Howto, Humor, Kansas, Kansas City, Life, Money, Personal, Random, Shopping

It’s Always a Great Year for “Vintage” Clothing


This shopper is happy with the low price on this lovely skirt at a consignment shop.

This shopper is happy with the low price on this skirt at a Kansas City consignment shop.

It must be in the genes.  My daughter works part-time at a Kansas City consignment store,  just as her grandmother did for many years.  As prices skyrocket, it’s trendy to give a second life to clothing that’s “gently worn” and still high style.  Grandma is on a first-name basis with Saks and Nieman, but has supplemented her stylish wardrobe with pieces from Act II, a high-end designer store in Kansas City, where she worked part-time. 

As a teenager, my daughter got started on her “vintage” clothing buying spree at The Wasteland on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles in 2001.  We were turned on to the area by my good college friend Jan, who also took us to the huge Aaardvark’s Odd Ark in Pasadena. (Yes, there are three As in a row.) My daughter was hooked!  I did well myself, grabbing a great black leather motorcycle jacket for $11.

A Kansas City Star photographer snaps Mrs. L in a Fashion Focus as she walks on the Country Club Plaza.

On the Country CLub Plaza, a Kansas City Star photographer captures Mrs. L. in his lens for a Fashion Focus.

There’s something about the word “vintage” that makes used clothes sound fabulous.  The whole re-sale shopping experience has inspired new euphemisms for used, old, recycled, cast-off, outgrown, discarded and unwanted, but who cares?  You can get some great stuff!

My daughter’s consignment shop is mid-range and has been selling infant, children’s and women’s clothing and accessories for more than twenty years.  She buys or uses her store credit to get a batch of “new” clothes a couple of times a month.  She also consigns clothes she no longer wants.  What she can’t consign she’ll take to a thrift shop.  She’s so hooked on “vintage” fashion and its affordability, she barely thinks of buying new.  In the Kansas City area, there are more than a dozen clothing consignment shops and dozens of thrift shops.

Happy shopper outside The Wasteland, a thrift shop on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

Shopper outside The Wasteland consignment shop on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

 She and her boyfriend, both recent college graduates, also have been hitting the neighborhood garage sales.  They have a “new” stereo, “new” bike and plenty of other thrifty finds. Link to a New York Times story about consignment shops: When Conscience and Closet Collide

Check out www.petenrepeat.com


Filed under Life, Shopping